What is a trademark?

A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a word signature, name, figurative trademark, label, numerals or combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking. The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form)
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others
  • It should be used or proposed to be used the mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without the identity of that person

What is a trademark?

How to select a good trademark?

If it is a word it should be easy to speak, spell and remember. The best trademarks are invented words or coined words or unique geometrical designs.
Please avoid selection of a geographical name, common personal name or surname. No one can have a monopoly right on it.
Avoid adopting laudatory word or words that describe the quality of goods (such as best, perfect, super etc.)

It is advisable to conduct a market survey to ascertain if the same/similar mark is used in the market.

What is the function of a trademark?

Under modern business condition a trademark performs four functions:

  • It identifies the goods / or services and its origin
  • It guarantees its unchanged quality
  • It advertises the goods/services
  • It creates an image for the goods/ services

Who can apply for a trademark and how ?

Any person, claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark used or proposed to be used by him, may apply in writing in the prescribed manner for registration. The application should contain the trademark, the goods/services, name and address of applicant and agent (if any) with power of attorney, the period of use of the mark. The application should be in English or Hindi. It should be filed at the appropriate office.
The applications can be submitted personally at the Front Office Counter of the respective office or can be sent by post. These can also be filed online through the e-filing gateway available at the official website.

What are different types of trademarks that may be registered in India?

  • Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark
  • An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service
  • Letters or numerals or any combination thereof
  • The right to the proprietorship of a trademark may be acquired by either registration under the Act or by use in relation to particular goods or service.
  • Figurative trademarks, including fancy figurative trademarks or symbols
  • Monograms
  • Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or figurative trademark
  • Shape of goods or their packaging
  • Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign
  • Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented

Who benefits from a trademark?

The Registered Proprietor of a trademark can create establish and protect the goodwill of his products or services, he can stop other traders from unlawfully using his trademark, sue for damages and secure destruction of infringing goods and or labels.
The Government earns revenue as a fee for registration and protection of registration of trademarks.
The Legal professionals render services to the entrepreneurs regarding selection registration and protection of trademarks and get remunerations for the same.
The Purchaser and ultimately Consumers of goods and services get options to choose the best.

What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

The registration of a trademark confers upon the owner the exclusive right to the use the trademark in relation to the goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered and to indicate so by using the symbol (R) and seek the relief of infringement in appropriate courts in the country. The exclusive right is however subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc. Also, where two or more persons have registered identical or nearly similar marks due to special circumstances, such exclusive right does not operate against each other.

What are the formalities and government fees for major trademark transactions ?

  • Application for registration of a new trademark :
  1. Where the applicant is an Individual / Startup/Small Enterprise Rs.5000
  2. In all other cases (Note: Fee is for each class and for each mark Rs.10000
  • On a notice of opposition under section 21(1), 64, 66 or 73 or application for rectification of register under section 47 to 57, 68, 77 or application under rule 99, 103, 135,140 or On application under section 25 of Geographical Indication of Goods (Regulations and Protection) Act, 1999 to invalidate a trademark or counter statement related thereto. (Note: Fee is for each class opposed or counterstatement filed)  : Rs.3000
  • For Renewal of a Regd. trademark for each class Fees: Rs. 10000
  • Application for renewal with surcharge/ restoration and renewal of a Trademarks under section 25 (3), 25 (4) for each class – Rs.10,000 Plus renewal fee applicable under entry 3
  • Request for search and issue of certificate under rule 22(1) 10,000
  • On request for an expedited certificate of the Registrar (other than a certificate under section 23(2) of the Act) or certified copies of the documents under proviso to rule 122 (Note: for entry in respect of each registered trademark or for each document)- Rs.5,000

What are the sources of trademark laws?

  • The national statues i.e., the Trademarks Act, 1999 and rules made thereunder
  • International multilateral convention
  • National bilateral treaty
  • Regional treaty
  • The decision of the courts
  • Office practice reduced in Manuals and guidelines and rulings of the Courts
  • The decision of Intellectual Property Appellate Board
  • Textbooks are written by academician and professional experts

What does the Register of trademark contain?

The register of trademark currently maintained in electronic form contains inter alias the trademark the class and goods/ services in respect of which it is registered including particulars affecting the scope of registration of rights conferred; the address of the proprietors; particulars of trade or other description of the proprietor; the convention application date (if applicable); where a trademark has been registered with the consent of proprietor of an earlier mark or earlier rights, that fact.

Can any correction be made in the application or register?

But the basic principle is that the trademark applied for should not be substantially altered affecting its identity. Subject to this changes are permissible according to rules detailed in the subordinate legislation.

Can a registered trademark be removed from the register?

It can be removed on application to the Registrar on the prescribed form on the ground that the mark is wrongly remaining on the register. The Registrar also can suo moto issue Notice for removal of a registered trademark?

What is a watch service?

Watch service is the process of retaining a third party for the purpose of monitoring the marketplace for unauthorized or improper uses of one’s marks. Trademark watching detects any conflicting trademark applications around the world at the moment of publication. This allows the trademark owner to file oppositions in time to stop third-party incursion. Trademark watching is done in to prevent infringement

What is Competitor Watch

The service monitors competitor trademark filing activity.  The results can render insights into competitor activity before new products are launched.  The service is very useful where there is clear competitor activity in your market and you use a range of intelligence to stay ahead, allowing you time to plan, react and compete.

What is Competitor Class Watch

Class Watch alerts you of every single trademark application published in a specific class of the Nice Classification of Goods and Services. It is a worldwide watch. The option is useful for businesses with a well-defined sector or industry, that maps to the Trademark class system. These clients may wish to see all activity published within that sector.  Sometimes this information feeds into market research, business cases for investment, risk assessments and more.

What is On-Line Monitoring?

The digital world is creating new ways for your business to reach customers, such as social media, domain names and mobile apps. These new opportunities, however, can leave you vulnerable to threats, like cyber squatting, counterfeiting, and phishing, effectively diluting your company’s digital brand equity

What is Company Name Watch?

Our Company Name Watch alerts you to company and or commercial names, published worldwide that could conflict with your trademarks.

Which jurisdictions does your service cover?

Where can I find a comprehensive listing of goods and services?

The Nice Classification (NCL), established by the Nice Agreement (1957), is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of marks.  The eleventh edition of the NCL came into force on January 1, 2017.


Are volume discounts available?

Yes, discounts are available for higher volumes. Please call 022-62372558 / 62372560 / 62372565 for more information

How Does Your Service Work?

Once you sign up for your service, make payment and provide us with all the information required, your marks (or other intellectual property that you signed up for) will be immediately placed on watch. Every time we find a potential infringement, we will send you (and any other individual/s designated by you) an email with all the information of the potential infringement including clippings of word marks, figurative trademarks, registrant information and opposition term. If you choose to take action, you may use your own legal resource or indiatmw.com can provide you with assistance in filing an opposition.

Do you provide the ability to look back on past Watch Notices?

Yes, our complimentary Watch Notice portal is available to you in which all your past Watch Notices will be available for review. This will date back to the date of commencement of your subscription with indiatmw.com.